The Woodiecams and the website www.Woodiecam1.com/ is owned and operated by Rupert Hester in Smithfield, NC. My Admin Kaye does the administrative work and maintenance on the website.

Punky the Hooded Merganser laid her first egg on 1-26-17 @ 2:15 PM. 2nd egg on 1-28-17 @ 4:30 pm. 3rd egg on 1-31-17 @ 8 am. 4th egg on 2-2-17 @ 7:40 am. 5th egg on 2-4-17 @ 7:07 am. 6th egg on 2-6-17 @ 7:15 am. 2 other Mergansers also laid 2 eggs on 2-6-17. 7th egg on 2-7-17 @ 4:15 pm.8th egg on 2-9-17 @ 8:00 am. 9th egg on 2-11-17 @ 7am.
She will lay 1 egg every 1.5 to 2 days and she will lay about 14 before incubation begins.

Click on the video page to see the 2016 jumps of Punky the Hooded Merganser and LaVelle Wood Duck. The inside the box videos can be seen at www.Ustream.tv at the Woodiecam1 channel.

LaVelle the Wood Duck hatched 10 of 17 eggs on March 19, 2016 after 30 days of incubation. All 10 babies jumped on March 20, 2016 @ 1:15 PM EDST.

“Punky” the Hooded Merganser hatched all 20 eggs on March 7 after 34 days of incubation. All 20 babies skydived from the nest box into Holt Lake on March 8 @ 8:20 AM.

Punky the Hooded Merganser’s first egg was on 1-6-16 at 9:30 AM EST. Egg # 2 on 1-8-16 @ 7:30 AM. Egg #3 on 1-10-16 @ 7:30 AM. Egg #4 on 1-11-16 @ 5:30 PM. Egg #5 on 1-13-16 @ 11:45 AM. Egg 6 on 1-15-16 @ 7 AM. Egg 7 on 1-16-16 @ 4:20 PM. Egg #8 on 1-18-16 @ 8:15 AM Egg #9 on 1-20-16 @ 7 AM. Egg #10 on 1-21-16 @ 3:15 PM. Egg 11 on 1-23-16 @ 7 AM. Egg 12 on 1-24-16 @ 3:30 PM. Egg 13 on 1-26-16 @ 7:30 AM. Egg 14 on 1-27-16 @ 4 PM. Egg 15 on 1-29-16 @ 8 AM. Egg 16 on 1-30-16 @ 5 PM. Egg 17 on 2-1-16 @ 7 AM. Egg 18 on 2-2-16 @ 6:15 PM. An intruder Merganser laid an egg on 1-24-16 @ 3:30 PM and on 1-28-16 @ 8:30 AM. Total of 20 eggs.

Videos of all the 2015 jumps are available at www.Ustream.tv  Search Woodiecam1 and Woodiecam2 Videos of the 2014 jumps can be viewed on this website on the video page.

WWD2 and 16 babies jumped on 5-10-15 at 9:30 AM.

Silky Wood Duck hatched 21 of 25 eggs on 5-2-15  after 37 days of incubation.  All 21 babies jumped on 5-3-15 at 7:40 AM.

Woodie Wood Duck hatched 10 eggs on the morning of 2-26-15 after 31 days of incubation.  All 10 babies made it out of the box on 3-27-15 at 11:55 AM.

Punky   the Hooded Merganser hatched 16 of 17 eggs on 3-21-15 after 34 days of incubation.  All 16 baby Hooded Mergansers jumped on 3-22-15 at 9:15 AM.

First Hooded Merganser egg, 1-21-15 @ 7AM. 2nd egg 1-22-15 @ 5 PM. 3rd egg, 1-24-15 @ 7 AM. 4th egg 1-26-15 @ 7 AM. 5th egg 1-28-15 @ 7AM. 6th egg. 1-29-15 @ 3 PM. 7th egg 1-31-15 @ 7 AM. 8th egg 2-1-15 @ 5:30 PM. 9th egg 2-3-15 @9 AM. 10th egg, 2-5-15 @ 7 AM. 11th. egg 2-6-15 @ 3:30 PM. 12th egg, 2-8-15 @ 7 AM. 13th egg 2-9-15 @ 3:30 PM. 14th egg 2-11-15 @ 7:30 AM. 15th egg. 2-12-15 @ 5 PM. 16th. egg, 2-14-15 @ 9 AM. 17th egg 2-15-15 @ 9 PM. This is .65 eggs per day.

Hooded Mergansers, like Wood Ducks nest in tree cavities. Mergansers primarily eat fish and crustaceans. They lay an average of 12 eggs per nest and lay 1 egg every 1.5 to 2 days. Like Wood Ducks they will occasionally lay eggs in other Wood Duck and Merganser nests. Incubation begins after all the eggs have been laid and take from 29 to 37 days to hatch.

The Woodiecams are located on Holt Lake near Smithfield, NC.

I use the IR Hawkeye Naturecam inside the box and a Logitech HD C-920 webcam for the lake view. My i-phone 5c was used for the jumpcam in 2016. A Canon VIXIA R300 HD camcorder was used for the close-up HD youtube videos and a GoPro Hero was used for the wide angle view. An IR 500 line surveillance cam was used for the jump cam in 2015.

NOTICE: This is nature in the wild, watch at your own risk……..This camera streams wild  Hooded Merganser and Wood Duck nests. This box is protected by a predator guard but Raccoons and Black Snakes can get around this guard but it is rare. Some eggs may not hatch and some babies may not be able to get out of the box for various reasons beyond my control. If possible I will retrieve the duckling and reunite it with it’s mother.

2015 Wood Duck, Hooded Merganser and Prothonotary Warbler end of season report.
726 baby Wood Ducks
29 baby Hooded Mergansers
200 Prothonotary Warblers.
Below average for the Wood Ducks and Hooded Mergansers but about 60 more Warblers than last year.

Holt Lake 2014 end of season Wood Duck, Hooded Merganser and Prothonotary Warbler report.
828 baby Wood Ducks
50 baby Hooded Mergansers
148 baby Prothonotary Warblers.

Below are nests from 2014. Watch the HD youtube videos here, click on videos.

Wood Duck Aurora and her Lucky 7 babies jumped at 9:05 AM on 6-9-14

Wood Duck Susquehanna and her 11 babies all jumped on 5-9-14 at 9:30 AM EST.

Wood Duck Tuscarora hatched 17 of 32 eggs on April 24th. All 17 babies made it out on April 25th. but one had to be rescued because she was a few minutes late jumping out. The 3 way HD youtube video posted on the video page will answer many of your questions about the jump.

“Punky” The Hooded Merganser hatched 14 of 19 eggs after 29 days of day/night incubation or 35 days after her last egg. All 14 babies jumped out at 11:05 AM EST on 4-2-14

2013 was an above average year for Wood Duck nesting. 65 Wood Duck boxes on Holt Lake hatched 1030 baby Wood Ducks. 127 Prothonotary Warblers fledged in 2013 which was below average partly because of the Carolina Chickadees occupied a lot of the boxes.

For updates, and to copy HD still pictures from the 2013 nesting season go to ” Woodiecam ” on facebook.

In 2013 we watched 76 Wood Duck and Hooded Merganser babies hatch and jump from 5 nests. Read more about each nest below and watch the HD youtube videos on the Videos page at this website.

All the viewers were treated to a true 4th of July celebration watching hen Wood Duck Neusiok’s 12 skydiving babies. Neusiok was named after the Indian tribe that lived along the Neuse River 2 miles from Holt Lake. All 12 eggs hatched after 30 days of incubation on 7/3/13.

Wood Duck Willowemoc and her 14 baby Wood Ducks jumped out of their box on 6/13/13 at 7:15 AM EST. All 14 eggs hatched after 30 days of incubation.

WoodieFrances Wood Duck and her 14 babies left the box on May 21, 2013 @ 9:15 AM EST. 14 of 23 eggs hatched after 29 days of incubation and all 14 babies made it out safely.

WoodiePier Wood Duck, 17 baby Wood Ducks and 2 Hooded Merganser babies left the box on 4/24/13 at 10:45 AM.

WoodieGanser Wood Duck, 19 baby Wood Ducks and 1 Hooded Merganser baby left the box on 3/28/13 @ 9:45 AM. The eggs hatched after 34 days of incubation.

WoodieNell abandoned her nest after being spooked by a fishing boat that got too close with loud talking and laughing fishermen.

2012 was another great year for the Woodiecams. We witnessed 56 baby Wood Ducks skydive out of 5 nest boxes. Videos of all the nests can be seen on the Woodiecam1 and Woodiecam2 Ustream site.

Woodiemama Wood Duck and her 3 Wood Duck babies left the nest box at 7:20 AM EST on 7/16/12

WoodieLadyLake and her 9 babies left the box on 5/31/12 at 8:20 AM EST

Woodiepier Wood Duck and her 16 babies left the box on May 16, 2012 at 9:30 AM.

Woodieland Wood Duck hatched 14 of 18 eggs after 31 days of incubation. Exodus took place on May 3rd, 2012 at 9:15 AM EST.

Woodie Wood Duck and her 14 babies left the box on March 26, 2012 at 8:30 AM.

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The Woodiecams are located on Holt Lake  near Smithfield, North Carolina. It is 600 acres and 2.5 miles long rimmed with cypress trees.

24-7  The Woodiecams run full time day and night during nesting season.

Wood Ducks normally nest in tree cavities.  The IR Hawkeye Naturecam is inside a 12″ wide X 24 inch tall Wood Duck box.  The camera is mounted on the upper back corner facing down.  The box is on a 4X4″ wood post with a predator guard.  See a photo of the setup in the photo gallery.

Wood Duck fun facts,  from the book ” Wood Duck Adventures” by my Uncle F. Eugene Hester. Available from Five Valleys Press.

Genus and Species:  Aix Sponsa

Nesting season”  In NC. is from February to July.

Fastest speed: 55 MPH

Wing beats per second: 7-7.5

Wing span: 28 inches

Weight: Male: 1.5 lbs.  Female: 1.16 lbs.

Length: 17-20 inches

Eggs:  Hen Wood Ducks lay 1 egg a day. Hen Hooded Mergansers lay 1 egg every 1.5 days, Average clutch is 12,  Hatch time is 28 to 35 days. Incubation begins after all the eggs are laid.

Babies can fly in 10 weeks.

Survival:  Less than half reach flight stage.

How long do the ducklings stay in the box after hatching? Answer: About 24 hours. The hen will call the babies out the next morning after they hatch and are dry.

Does the male help raise the ducklings? Answer: No.

What do the ducklings eat after leaving the nest? Answer: Animal matter, primarily insects and aquatic vegetation.

2011 was an amazing year for the Woodiecams. We witnessed 5 successful wild Wood Duck nests with 74 babies safely jumping out of the boxes. Several of the best videos are on this website in the videos page. We also heard babies chipping away at the eggs and talking to each other while still in the eggs with the new Woodiecam1 egg microphone. This amazing audio is also on the videos page. A must listen to. Another very popular item in 2011 was the outside camera Woodiecam2. We watched 4 broods of babies skydiving out of the boxes from this new camera.

Woodielou hatched all 12 of her eggs and all 12 babies made it safely out of the box at 9:15 AM EST on July 7. See the skydiving babies video on this site under videos.

The best audio/video of the year in my opinion is the recording of Woodielou’s babies chipping away at the egg and talking to each other while still in the eggs. The new egg microphone captured this amazing audio, see it also on this website under videos.

Woodiemae hatched 7 of her 12 eggs on June 22nd. All 7 babies made it safely out of the box at 8:15 AM EST on June 23rd. Videos are on the Ustream site.

WoodieLynn hatched 10 of 11 eggs. All the babies jumped out of the box successfully. See the video on the Ustream site on Woodiecam1 and Woodiecam2

Woodaline hatched 18 of 20 eggs on Saturday, May 21. All 18 babies made it out of the box. See the video of her skydiving babies from the outside camera on this website in the videos page.

Woodie Wood Duck hatched an incredible 29 of 30 eggs on 4/11/11. Unfortunately 2 of the babies did not survive but we are thankful that 27 were seen swimming away with Woodie. Click on videos to see the exodus.

PREDATOR GUARDS, All of my Wood Duck boxes are mounted on posts with predator guards but it is still possible for Raccoons and Black Snakes to get around the guards but it is rare.

In addition to Wood Duck boxes I have 85 Prothonotary Warbler boxes on the lake. In 2011 I had 21 nests with 82 young Prothonotary Warblers. In 2012 I had 136 young Warblers fledge from 34 nests. Hopefully I will have a Prothonotary Warbler nest cam in 2013.

Questions and comments: e-mail Woodiecam1@nc.rr.com